Acid Mothers Temple - The Ripper At The Heavens Gates of Dark
Riot Season
Psychedelic Rock
5 songs (1:12:47)
Release year: 2011
Acid Mothers Temple, Riot Season
Reviewed by Goat

One of those bands that you’ve probably heard of but have less probably heard, Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso UFO (to give this incarnation its full name) are a legendary Japanese band/musical collective led by guitarist and founding member Kawabata Makoto. Something like Hawkwind after a lot of acid, Acid Mothers Temple play rock that’s about as drug-damaged as it’s possible to get, full of spacey effects and distorted vocals. The band has multiple forms and variations, playing different styles of psychedelic rock accordingly, with a large and confusing discography that it’s not even worth trying to attempt to sum up. Instead, let’s look at the wonderfully-titled The Ripper At The Heavens Gates Of Dark, an album as high as that artwork suggests...

Opening twelve-minuter Chinese Flying Saucer starts with a catchy riff before completely departing the planet, shooting into space and providing the sort of acid-fuelled freakout that would make The Grateful Dead wince in shock. The band avoids the stoner-y riff as channel for their sound, preferring to make the aural overload itself the focal point. This works wonders on the Eastern invocation of Chakra 24 (at just over a measly four minutes the shortest track present) and on the even gentler Back Door Man Of Ghost Rails Inn, which is like the most stoned bluesman you can imagine sitting and crooning to himself for fifteen minutes – in a good way!

Admittedly, much of your enjoyment of this will depend on your tolerance for music designed to be listened to whilst under the influence. It’s hazy, stoned, and repetitive, but hypnotic if you’re in the right mood, and The Ripper... certainly caught me that way. Shine On You Crazy Dynamite may be overlong (nearly twenty-two minutes!) and more self-indulgent than the Pink Floyd track it pays homage to, but there’s something fascinating about the way the deranged guitar playing contrasts with the still, almost peaceful synth layers. Of course, you can’t listen to this expecting to hear something that can be critiqued with the usual, songwriting-based focus – Acid Mothers Temple create an experience, not ‘songs’. Even the most stringent of straight-edge teetotal types would admit that they’ve created quite an experience with The Ripper... however. So leave your mind at the door, and let’s go trippin’...

Killing Songs :
Chinese Flying Saucer, Chakra 24, Back Door Man Of Ghost Rails Inn
Goat quoted 80 / 100
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